In the daily discourse on career matters, a lot of time is spent discussing how to create resumes that are tight and focused on the employer’s needs. This attempt to be brief becomes even more relevant in this 140-character Twitter era, when ‘less means more’. If we are going to aim for brevity in our writings, let’s forget the resume for a bit and take a look at the cover letter.
It is widely said that half of hiring managers don’t read cover letters, so it’s safe to assume that the other half does. For those who do, we wouldn’t want them to throw the cover letter in ‘File 13′ (the garbage bin), because it contains too many clichés or over-used phrases. Here are some popular phrases to avoid in your cover letter if you want to capture and keep the attention of the hiring manager:
1. “Please be advised…”. Unless you are in the role of an advisor, eliminate this phrase. Simply state what you have done. “I have sent a copy to Human Resources”.
2. “Enclosed please find” or “Attached herewith.” If it is enclosed or attached, the reader will find it. Use “Enclosed (or Attached) is…”.
3. “Yours very truly”, “Very truly yours”, and “Respectfully”. These archaic phrases disappeared many moons ago. Using the word ‘yours’ gives the impression you belong to the reader. Use “Sincerely,” instead.
4. “Feel free to contact me”, or “Please do not hesitate to contact me”. These clichés have outlived their times. It’s better to say “Please contact me.”
5. “Above-referenced”. Don’t ask the reader to take his or her eyes back to the reference line. Instead, re-state whatever you are referring to – the subject, title or position.
6. “I have forwarded…”. Say “I sent” instead. Short and to the point.
Is there a phrase or two you would like to add? Go ahead and comment below.